Gainesville Chamber Hosts Sen. Marco Rubio

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce continues to advance local business interests and seek solutions to common business problems, this time in healthcare, by hosting Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in a roundtable discussion on the impact of the nation’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The meeting with the senator took place on Monday at the chamber. Business leaders representing a variety of local industries attended the discussion to ensure diverse areas of business in the region were covered. The goal of this discussion was to facilitate an opportunity for these Gainesville area business leaders to meet with a national policymaker and learn how the ACA may impact their businesses, said Chamber President & CEO Tim Giuliani.

During the discussion, many local business owners expressed concern regarding potential increases in health care coverage, both for employers and the people they employ as well. Still others, representing some of the region’s largest employers, expressed concern that the nation’s health care system needs more fixing than it does dismantling – a position Rubio defended during his comments to local leaders.

“What we heard today from small businesses in North Central Florida and Gainesville is that there are those in a period of tremendous uncertainty that are afraid of investing in the future, they are afraid of growing their business and they are afraid to hire new people,” Rubio said, “and we are hearing that throughout the state and, quite frankly, throughout the country, and that’s not good for our economy.”

Despite the sometimes divergent views on how to address the growing health care crisis in America, the forum between Rubio and the local leaders is a good first step to finding a consensus, Giuliani said.

The discussion with Senator Rubio is just one of many discussions planned between the Chamber and healthcare professionals and policy makers going forward.

“The Chamber plans to continue the dialogue with policymakers, health care professionals and legal consultants over the next year on how national health care legislation could impact the cost of doing business,” said Giuliani.

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in Alachua County and the employees they represent, not just on a local level, but also on a state and national level to ensure the region’s voice is heard at all levels of government.

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